Ditching Success? A Career Ventured; A Life Regained by Batoul I. Ajlouni is a memoir with an intriguing title. Written from the first-person point of view, it documents the author’s journey from being an ambitious career woman, thriving on challenges and success to ultimate burn-out, disillusionment, and, finally, an honest soul-searching aimed at understanding and redefining herself. The honesty in the thoughts and the writing stands out and rings true to the reader. It is also highly informative about the business world in general and Jordan as a country in particular. Through her extensive travels to “four continents, seventeen countries and forty cities”, she provides insight into different sceneries, cultures, and business practices I had not been familiar with before. Her process of rediscovering her own identity culminated in understanding her deepest inner values and summarized what she found by writing this book.
Writing a memoir is a very intense and often painful experience and can be highly revealing to both author and reader. If it’s not done with total honesty and merciless clarity, it is a wasted effort. Batoul I. Ajlouni does not fail this test and, as a consequence, she has written a compelling testimony about the price one has to pay for ‘success’ as well as the price one has to pay for abandoning it. This is the greatest value of this book – it forces the reader to ask themselves the same tough questions and confront unpleasant doubts about life choices they may have made in the past. It also encourages introspection and critical assessment of the road behind and searches for alternative paths ahead. The writing is clear, easily followed, and the emotional context is infectious to the reader. I can sincerely recommend it to anyone who ever had doubts about the value of success. Ditching Success? A Career Ventured; A Life Regained is well worth considering if this sounds like you.